What is Bifidobacterium infantis?

Bifidobacterium infantis (B. infantis) is a “friendly” strain of bacteria. It’s a type of lactic acid bacteria found in the same group as Lactobacillus. It’s naturally found in your oral cavity and gastrointestinal (GI) tract. It helps you maintain a healthy digestive tract.

As you age, the number of bacteria in your body typically declines. This can result from diet, stress, antibiotic use, health conditions, and other causes. Taking probiotics may help restore the bacteria in your body. Probiotics are live bacteria. They’re added to some foods, drugs, dietary supplements, and other products.

Some evidence suggests that taking B. infantis probiotics might help treat certain health conditions.

What does the research say?

If you have certain health conditions, taking B. infantis probiotics might help reduce your symptoms. For example, a review article published in Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics suggests it might help relieve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). If you have IBS, it may help reduce abdominal pain. It may also help reduce gas and bloating.

B. infantis probiotics may also be useful for treating some other conditions. A study reported in Gut Microbes linked B. infantis probiotics to lower levels of inflammation in patients with ulcerative colitis, chronic fatigue syndrome, and psoriasis.

More research is needed to learn about the potential benefits of taking B. infantis probiotics.

What are the risks?

Probiotics are generally safe for most people to use. When healthy people experience side effects, they’re usually minor. For example, common side effects include bloating, gas, and stomach discomfort.

In rare cases, people with underlying health conditions have developed systemic infections after using probiotics. If you have a compromised immune system or you’re pregnant, talk to your doctor before taking probiotics.

B. infantis is sensitive to several commonly used antibiotics. These include ciprofloxacin, tobramycin, and vancomycin. If you’re currently taking antibiotics, talk to your doctor about the potential effects of taking probiotics.

Don’t use probiotics to replace other medications that your doctor has prescribed.

How much can I consume?

B. infantis probiotics are available in different forms. You may find them in the form of tablets, capsules, or powder. Your recommended dosage will depend on the product you’re using. Unless your doctor recommends otherwise, follow the directions on the product label.

Where can I find it?

Probiotic supplements are available in many drugstores and health food stores. They often contain multiple strains of bacteria. To learn if a product contains B. infantis, check the ingredients.

B. infantis is also found in some food products. It’s used in the production of some yogurt, olives, sauerkraut, salami, and cheese. It’s also added to infant formula.

The takeaway

Adding B. infantis probiotics to your daily regimen might help promote good gut health. Some research suggests it can relieve symptoms associated with IBS. It may also help lower inflammation.

You might experience side effects from taking probiotics. For most people, these side effects are minor. But it’s best to talk to your doctor before taking probiotics. Always seek advice from your doctor before trying a new supplement.